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Friday, 11 April 2014

The Return of The First Avenger

*This Review Contains Spoilers*

When I went to see the Captain America: The Winter Soldier I wasn't expecting much. The First Avenger  was kind of incomplete, but not a bad movie in general. Yet, people don't talk about it much. So I wasn't expecting for Marvel to make the sequel any better. They prove me wrong.
winter soldier by Orlando Arocena
winter soldier by Orlando Arocena

What I saw was something quite different. It grabbed me from the beginning and held me until the end. And after the success of Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, I must say - Phase 2 is a lot better. This time it's not just some filler movies, but ones which want to dominate the Box Office.

What Really Got me?

First of all - Captain America is becoming more and more mature. You see his struggle with living in this modern world. It's been two years since he was defrosted, but that 70-year gap is hard to fill. Not only Cap has grown up, but Chris Evans as well. When I first saw him it was back in 2001 in Not Another Teen Movie he was the typical Jock. Since then he has played in many comedies and romantic films, but this is different.

Now I see him as a professional actor who can manipulate our emotions with ease. And he made the persona of Steve Rogers a bigger icon than ever. I wasn't a big fan of this superhero, probably because I am not from the states. Now he is one of my favourite Avengers.

Captain America by Andrew Thompson
by Andrew Thompson

Nick Fury - he is one of the top spies in the world and know how to operate the biggest agency - S.H.I.E.L.D. You can always trust his opinion, always rely on him and we see he is becoming not only a boss persona, but a friend. The difference this time is, he made a big mistake. We see him weaker than ever. The man with one eye was practically blind with both.

Falcon - I don't know if they'll make him communicate with birds in the future, but they've done a great job here. The actor (Anthony Mackie) was the perfect guy for the role - athletic body, good acting skills and bit sassy. The costume was very well thought out and was actually better than what I imagined.

Black Widow - no disappointment there. We thought there would be some romance between Natasha and Steve, but it would be silly. He is a good guy, who will never bail on his principles, she is something different. Plus, I believe she still has something going on with Hawk Eye.

In General

It wasn't a cheesy film with so many plot holes. Of course it has some, but it's a comicbook movie. It's not made to be perfect, it's meant to be amusing and thrilling. It was partly predictable, but there were a lot of unexpected parts.

Recently, many trailers are spoiling the whole flick. When you see Captain America: The Winter Soldier's trailer, you think it's one of those cases. But you would be wrong. The return of HYDRA, Zola, Bucky - for the non-comicbook readers, these are shocking revelations.

Captain America Winter Soldier Art

And even for the fans of the graphic novels, there were some surprises. But that's not what got the true fans. It were the small details.

Easter Eggs

The Winter Soldier was filled with them. James Porter has enlisted many in So check the full list. Here are my top favourite:
  1. Tony Stark's name appears when the Helicarriers start targeting enemies. 
  2. The To Do List of Steve Rogers - He has missed a lot of big historic events, so he wants to catch up. You can see Star Wars, Star Trek, The Moon Landing, Nirvana, The Berlin Wall. With his busy schedules it will take time to watch all six Star Wars movies and listen to Nirvana's discography, but it's good they are on the list.
  3. The Hulk's Serum - Nick Fury used the serum Bruce Banner made to decrease his heart beat. It wasn't useful for Banner, but for Fury it did a great job.
  4. The Creators of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Turns out Howard Stark (Tony's father) and Peggy Carter (Rogers' love) were one of the founders of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division.
  5. Stan Lee - when you watch a Marvel film, you just know he'll be there. This time he was a museum guard.
  6. Doctor Strange - Did you see the name Stephen Strange as one of the targeted names? This is Doctors Strange himself. We know he will have his own movie in Phase 3, but it's nice to see a small connection even now.
  7. Crossbones - That guy who said "it's nothing persona" to Captain America in the elevator. The one who survived at the end, but was heavily burnt. That's Crossbones. He is the one who shot Steve Rogers in the Civil War storyline. Does this mean he will be the bad guy in Captain America 3? We'll see.

The Ending Scenes

You can't simply leave the theatre when the credits start rolling after a Marvel film. You know there will be a end-credit scene. And there was. There were Two actually.

Avengers Age of Ultron

The first one introduces three new characters - Baron von Stucker, who is a big supervillain in Cap's universe. He posses Loki's staff, which we saw is quite powerful. But that wasn't the main subject of the mid credits scene. The Twins, as he called them, are Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. These are the children of Magnet. But because FOX has the rights for the terms Mutants and Magneto, they won't be connected to the X-Men. Here they seem as a result from a HYDRA experiment. We already know those two characters are in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but it was fun seeing them.

The last scene shows the Winter Soldier being in the Smithsonian and watching the Captain America exhibition. Basically, he is learning his past. Which means that the Captain was right - Bucky will come to his senses. Now the question remains - Who will find first Barnes?


I don't know how things will work out in Avengers 2. S.H.I.E.L.D. is gone, Nick Fury is gone, Iron Man is no longer the same, the Captain is pursuing his past. It sounds really exciting.

But we have some details about Captain America 3. Chris Evans has said in an interview that he wants to quit the character and start directing and move on. It's not 100% accurate information, but things really get in one place.

Crossbones will be a villain, Bucky will return as a good guy, Evans wants to leave. We can see the Civil War plot all over again. Or at least the part with the death of Steve Rogers. In the comicbooks, after the death, Barnes becomes the new Captain (at least for some time). So is this the future of the franchise? Hope not, because I really love Chris playing the leader of the Avengers.

But we see some connections to Avengers 3 here. Loki's staff has one of the Infinity Gems. There are six - Soul, Time, Space, Mind, Reality and Power. The one in the staff is probably Mind. We've seen Space (the Tasseract) and Power (Aether from The Dark World). In Guardians of the Galaxy they'll probably show one or two more. And you know what that means? Thanos is gathering them to make the Infinity Gauntlet. So I have a feeling Avengers 3 will include Guardians of The Galaxy, too.

What I did not Like

People talking about politics. There were many people saying the film was inspired by the Kill List of Obama. They were comparing S.H.I.E.L.D. with the NSA and saying that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is showing how the National Security Agency is something like HYDRA. Stop taking everything out of the context, please. It's a Marvel film, not a political statement. 

Washington Post
Den of Geek